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NSAIDs May Reduce Stress Reactions, Says Pig Vet

by 5m Editor
22 October 2010, at 8:29am

UK - Nico Brons, a senior vet working within the Easey Group solely with pigs, has recently been relating a story that has highlighted the benefits of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and stress reduction in pigs.

A lorry driver with 17 years experience collected 1200 weaners, which had been treated with Solacyl – a water- soluble salicylate – to transport them to the finishing site. Upon arrival, he opened the lorry to start offloading the animals but was shocked to see 30 to 40 piglets lying flat out on the lorry. His first thought was that he had lost them due to transport stress, as in all his years of experience this was never a behaviour he had observed. He panicked and rang the fieldsman responsible for the unit but as he was doing so the farmer went on to the lorry and noticed that the piglets were asleep. Upon wakening them, they immediately jumped off the lorry demonstrating that they were in very good health.

Dr Brons believes that in many cases the effects of stress on pigs may be underestimated, yet could be relatively easily overcome. He has recently started administering Solacyl routinely to weaners 20-24 hours before travel and found that the practise results in more relaxed, less stressed animals.

The use of NSAIDS in treating inflammation in pigs has long been appreciated and they can be a useful anti-pyretic adjunct in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections. Dr Brons says that he thinks the analgesic effects of Solacyl may be responsible for stress reduction. NSAIDs are used much more frequently in mainland Europe for their role in stress reduction and are believed to make a positive contribution to improving productivity as a result.